Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

Tutti al Mare:
Six Staples of Any Italian Beach Holiday

Italian Summer Holidays at the beach

Italian beaches – be them public or private, sandy stretches or rocky coves – are one of a kind. Not just because they’re so often blessed with scenic surroundings, azure blue waters, and Campari Spritzes come aperitivo time (you’ll find those at any beach shack, chic club or sea facing hotel bar.

La Settimana Enigmistica

La Settimana Enigmistica, Italian holidays
Credit to Il Punto Quotidiano

L’ Ombrellone

ISSIMO ombrellone visconti stripes, white and blue hotel mezzatorre

Regardless, the ombrellone is king – even more so if quietly stylish and a little retro, like those from Mezzatorre .

I Racchettoni

Issimo x la double j bikini bottom, Issimo T-shirt, Battistoni Rackets

Yes, the beach is for reading, chilling, and sunbathing. But Italians also like to stay active, which is why a game of racchettoni (beach rackets) is a must during any seaside time in the country. Anyone can play – couples, friends, kids, families, you name it – and play they do: from early morning to late afternoons, the sound of balls being hit and forth is as ubiquitous as the gentle crushing of waves on many beaches from north to south.

Want a set of racchettoni that makes you look like a pro? Go for the Battistoni beach tennis rackets. They’re the ultimate summer accessory.

Issimo x la double j bikini bottom, Issimo T-shirt, Battistoni Rackets

Il Grattacheccaro (or the Cocco Man)

Il Grattacheccaro
(or the Cocco Man)

Grattachecche, Italian Ice beach lifestyle

You’re on the beach and you’re feeling a little peckish. You’d like something refreshing, but the idea of walking to the nearest bar feels like a terrible chore given the heat (even when said bar is only 20 metres away from you). Then, out of nowhere, the grattacheccaro (a man making grattachecca, aka hand-shaved iced flavoured with syrup) lands in your field of vision. And, suddenly, the day is saved.


Grattacheccari are a staple of beaches in central and southern Italy, where you’ll see them wheeling their carts up and down the shoreline, ready to whip up slushies in myriad different flavours. The Cocco Man – a man selling fresh coconut slices – is an equally common figure of the country’s beach folklore, and another hero when it comes to doling out fresh snacks. His opening – and only – line? ‘Cocco fresco!’

The Bottomless Bag and the Invicta Backpack

ISSIMO Schostal Giada Mariani, beach sea lifestyle

A full day at the beach requires some planning, and Italians are masters of that. You’ve got to have some snacks, in case you get hungry. A book, for a little alone time. Sunscreen to protect you, sunnies to look cool, and maybe a straw hat to keep the heat away. Also, headphones for music, more snacks for the kids, La Settimana Enigmistica for mum (and yourself), and maybe some lipstick, if you’re going for aperitivo afterwards.


Enter the bottomless bag: a tote so spacious you can almost fit your entire life in it – and an accessory that only really works during summer. Italian women always have the best ones, like the ISSIMO straw tote bag, which combines substance and style with effortless panache.


Prefer a backpack? Take a cue from the Italians (again) and opt for their favourite backpack brand, Invicta. Even better, go for these compact and stylish striped mini sacs in black or yellow. Deceptively small, they can hold all your essentials for a sunny day.


ISSIMO x Rivolta Carmignani beach towel, bottle hotels souvenirs

L’asciugamano (the beach towel) isn’t something exclusive to Italians, of course. But look around you next time you’re on an Italian beach, and you’ll likely notice how incredibly cooler, elegant and plain beautiful our beach towels are compared to those in other countries. For many, this isn’t just a piece of cloth to dry with. It’s an accessory, the perfect complement to a beach outfit, and a way to make an impression — which is why our hotels’ iconic beach towels are so in-demand, and the best choice when it comes to completing your Italian beach look.

ISSIMO x Rivolta Carmignani beach towel, bottle hotels souvenirs
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